Developing an inclusive playground is not an easy task. Playworld Systems recently released a must-have resource for people interested in developing an inclusive playground. The new Inclusive Play Design Guide takes all of the current research and knowledge and puts it together in one place. The valuable guide includes input from experts in multiple fields.
Over the next few months, Play by Playworld will post about the guide’s features, benefits and applicable tools. The Inclusive Play Design Guide begins by asking a fundamental question, “Why build an inclusive playground?”
According to the US Census, 12 percent of the population has a severe disability that affects at least one function of daily living. And those with a disability have parents, siblings and children. So in actuality, disability advocates estimate that 36 percent of the US population is affected by severe disability—that’s approximately one in three people. We have to aspire to build playgrounds that address the needs of both able-bodied people and those with disabilities.
By definition, an inclusive playground does not mean a playground created exclusively for use by children with disabilities. An inclusive playground is a community playground where everyone can play together, be challenged and have fun. In the Guide, “everyone” means:
- Typically developing children
- Children with neurological, intellectual, physical, social and emotional disabilities
- People who use a mobility device
- Parents and grandparents (many of whom have a limitation or disability)
- Teachers, friends, caregivers—anyone in the community
The group of playground and child development experts who authored the guide conceived of it as an inspirational resource that will encourage people to build environments that allow better access to play and better use of playgrounds. Such spaces will in turn enrich our society.
You can download your own free copy of the Inclusive Play Design Guide at http://playworldsystems.com/why_playworld/inclusive_play. After reading the guide, we’d like to encourage you to share your thoughts and feedback during the public comment period. The comment survey is available at:http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/designguidecomments.